Two French photographers, Serge Brunier and Frédéric Tapissier, spent weeks in the desert highlands of Chile, and a week in the Canary Islands, taking photos of the stars. Using a Nikon D3 digital camera, they took thousands of photos of the night sky and then stitched the photos together to make a panoramic view of the Milky Way Galaxy as seen from Earth. The pictures are extremely high-resolution because the photographers took them from some of the darkest spots on Earth, giving unsurpassed clarity of view.
You can see an excellent interactive zoomable version of the image at photographer Serge Brunier’s web site.
You can also see a zoomable version of the image at Gigagalaxyzoom.